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Government Shutdown Spurs Grassroots Business Aviation Advocacy Response
October 14, 2013
As the government shutdown moves into its third week, the aviation industry continues to be one of those hardest hit. With the closure of the FAA Aircraft Registry, no aircraft can be bought or sold, no title researched and no lien verified. Until the registry is reopened, thousands of incomes remain at stake, and the issue threatens to spread across the wider aviation industry.
“This is not like a train you could see coming,” said Universal Weather and Aviation Chairman Greg Evans. “This one jumped on the tracks right in front of us. The biggest concern is, are people going to be able to buy new or pre-owned planes?”
Evans, a member of the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council, pointed out that without sales and without some inspections of aircraft already on the flight line, an increasing number of airplanes and helicopters will be grounded. They will not consume fuel, leading to a decrease in the sale of avgas and Jet-A. Maintenance operations will see a significant decrease in business, as will refurbishers and other associated businesses.
“This will have an increasingly dire ripple effect. If this goes on for any period of time, it will grow and grow in terms of impact,” Evans said.
“The most important thing for us is to make sure we’re communicating with our elected officials about the need for FAA to reopen the Aircraft Registry and the dire circumstances that make it so necessary,” said Jay Mesinger, president of Mesinger Jet Sales in Boulder, CO. He is both a member of the NBAA Board of Directors and chairman of the Associate Member Advisory Council.
Like Evans, Mesinger is concerned about the ripple effect of the government shutdown. As more aircraft are grounded because of pending sales or inspection issues, “there’s ground transportation that won’t be arranged. There is catering that won’t be delivered. There is lodging, maintenance and business that won’t be transacted,” he said.
“We need you [to take action] now,” Evans said, speaking not only to the leaders of aviation corporations and associations, but to all levels of employees within those organizations as well.
Evans has written an open letter to his colleagues in the aviation industry asking for help from everyone in aviation whose livelihood is touched by the shutdown to get in touch with lawmakers and demand a resumption of critical aviation services such as the FAA Aviation Registry.
“One of the best vehicles for that is the NBAA website,” said Mesinger. “Go there and hit the Contact Congress button.”
Evans went even further, suggesting the catchphrase, “Contact Congress. Push the Button.” The Contact Congress button leads to a web resource page where anyone – not just NBAA Members – can locate their congressional representatives either through Twitter or email. Pre-populated emails and tweets can be sent to lawmakers, urging them to end the government shutdown.
“I can make a difference. You can make a difference,” said Evans. “If you go to the website and press the button, you are making a difference.”
For more information, or to report the impact of the government shutdown on your company, contact NBAA's Operation Services Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.